It has been exactly 20 years today since my grandmother passed away. My grandmother was a fierce, intelligent woman who held our family together.
I was a teenager when my grandma’s health declined. She had congestive heart failure, diabetes, and was legally blind. As a teen, I did not understand the extent of her health problems nor how they related.
Now that I’m living with the same diabetes diagnosis, I understand what my grandma was going through, how diabetes and heart disease are linked and how those issues can potentially limit your life.
It’s my mission to share what I’ve learned with people with diabetes and their loved ones. There is a family history of diabetes on both sides, and I just want to do my part in changing the narrative.
On this day of remembrance, I want to encourage you to keep your health in check: learn more about your condition, maintain a healthy diabetes management routine, and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t let diabetes limit your life.
World Diabetes Day 2021 theme from the International Diabetes Federation
The availability of insulin and other elements of diabetes care remains out of reach for millions who need them. People with diabetes are at risk of severe and life-threatening complications, especially if they do not receive adequate support or treatment. Complications include:
Every member of this community is here because they or someone they know is battling diabetes. Diabetes is a life-long condition that takes work for us to manage. What may work for us one day might not work the next. So many factors contribute to our numbers fluctuating. There’s always a chance that the condition will progress even if you do everything you can.
However, we still have three options for how to approach the way we handle this:
– Giving up and don’t do anything about this condition
– Giving in and doing the least we can to treat this condition
– Giving our best and not only control our condition, but do our best to learn about diabetes and to try and discover ways to stop its progression by doing our best. Additionally, even when treatment fails, you don’t give up or give in.
Today, we’ll talk about how to stay hydrated with the food we eat!
Soups and Broths
A great way to hydrate your body is by drinking soups and bone broth. Soups based on broths like non-creamy chicken noodle soup, french onion soup, vegetable soup, and bone broths can help provide total fluid needs and are high in sodium, which is beneficial to your hydration. Sodium is lost through perspiration, and it must be replaced. If you’re athletic or highly active, replacing sodium is especially important.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Food is able to meet about 20% of your hydration needs, which is why eating fresh fruits and vegetables can enhance your hydration levels. Fruits and vegetables also have various minerals and fibers that promote a healthy metabolism. Here are some fruits and vegetables and their water content percentages:
If you have trouble keeping hydrated, these are great options for preventing dehydration and keeping your blood sugar levels at a reasonable level!
You just returned from your follow up doctor’s appointment, and it didn’t go quite as well as expected. While you’ve followed the recommended diet, exercised, improved your sleep and implemented some stress management strategies, your A1C has increased. Your doctor is strongly considering adding insulin therapy to your treatment plan.
The stigma attached to injecting insulin has caused you to try very hard to avoid using it. However, it seems that there is no alternative for you.
Feelings of guilt and failure begin to creep in. As a result of the failure of your current treatment, you feel that you failed.
Taking insulin is not a sign of failure, my friend.
When insulin therapy is used properly, you can still live a long and healthy life. There is a good deal of planning, organizing and a lot of math skills required (no kidding!), but once you understand the role insulin plays in our bodies, you will discover that insulin therapy is a life-saving tool for managing diabetes.
The Role of Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that aids in lowering the level of glucose in the blood. In response to a rise in glucose level, such as when eating, this hormone is released into the bloodstream. In the body, glucose enters cells where it can be used for energy or stored to use later.
Any excess sugar is stored in the liver, muscles, and fat cells. In the cells, glucose reaches its normal level once it enters the cells.
The presence of low blood glucose stimulates the release of another hormone called glucagon by cells of the pancreas. Glucagon activates the liver to release the stored glucose known as glycogen from the liver into your bloodstream. Throughout the day, insulin and glucagon alternate their release in order to keep blood glucose levels stable.
A person with type 1 diabetes needs insulin therapy to replace the insulin that is not produced by the body.
The insulin therapy is sometimes necessary for people with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes when other treatments have not controlled blood glucose levels. Maintaining a target blood glucose level prevents complications.
Basal & Bolus
Insulin comes in two basic forms: basal and bolus.
Basal insulin is a long-acting type of insulin, also known as a “background”. Basal insulin boosts activity for about 24 hours at a time. High resting blood glucose levels can be brought down with basal insulin by providing a continuous supply of throughout the day. Basal insulin is usually taken once or twice a day to maintain consistent levels. By using basal insulin, glucose levels can remain steady even when individuals are not eating, allowing the cells to use energy more efficiently.
Bolus insulin is a more powerful, but shorter-lasting type of insulin. It is commonly taken before meals and during periods of higher blood sugar. Bolus insulin is taken at mealtimes to maintain a healthy level after eating. It is also known as “rapid-acting” insulin because it needs to work fast. Bolus insulin usually works around 15 minutes, peaks after an hour, and lasts for 2-4 hours. Bolus insulin is affected by the amount of food a person eats during a meal; therefore, it’s necessary that a person with diabetes knows how many carbohydrates they consume so that they can adjust how much insulin they need. Many people using bolus insulin use carb counting and carb-to-insulin ratios as tools.
Basal-bolus insulin therapy is an intensive insulin treatment that involves taking basal and bolus insulin simultaneously. This means that some people takes basal insulin once or twice a day and use bolus insulin at mealtime. In addition to insulin, people with type 2 diabetes may need to take oral, non-insulin medications.
Did you know that there are over 20 different types of insulin on the market in the United States? Tomorrow, I will share the five types of supplemental insulin and how each of them work.
How parents can properly prepare their child with diabetes for the new school year with a 504 Plan
We’re back to that time of year:
It’s back to school time!
I’m sure most of you who are parents or guardians have already started planning for the new school year. Setting up appointments to get immunizations and a physical. A dental cleaning for your kids. Getting the best deals on school supplies and clothes, saving up for those secondary school fees, or finding an after-school program for your child.
What about setting up a 504 accommodations plan for your child with diabetes at school?
What is a 504 Plan?
A “504 Plan” is a plan developed to comply with a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.The 504 Plan details the steps the school will take to keep students with disabilities safe, ensure they have the same opportunities to learn as other children, and ensure they are treated fairly. This can be used to ensure that students, parents/guardians, and school staff understand their responsibilities and to minimize misunderstandings.
Diabetes of all types is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is, therefore, very important for parents of children with diabetes to take advantage of this and to ensure that their children are safe and treated fairly in school.
The 504 plan describes a broad range of services and accommodations that are often needed by students with diabetes, ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors. All plans should specify that school staff must receive training to recognize hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and respond accordingly.
A student’s plan should be tailored to his or her specific needs, abilities, and medical condition. Make sure that only provisions that are relevant to a particular child are included.
How To Pursue a 504 Plan
Collect all the information and data about your child and their condition. This includes official diagnosis and medical records from all doctors and specialists treating your child.
Write a letter explaining your reasons and requesting accommodations.
Ask the school district for a 504 Plan for your child. Follow the 504 Plan Coordinator’s procedures to request a 504 Plan.
Keep in touch with the coordinator to determine the progress of the 504 Plan process.
The American Diabetes Association offers a sample 504 plan and examples of accommodations that can be downloaded.
Now is the perfect time to make sure that your child will be treated fairly when he or she has diabetes. Let’s make this school year a healthy one!
From school schedules changes, school project mishaps, juggling it all while hubby has an appointment to social media mishaps. I’m just not feeling it, but God is still God. God is still good and He will see me through this day.
A GAD antibody test can detect LADA through the detection of elevated levels of pancreatic autoantibodies in patients with diabetes who do not require insulin. These antibodies also predict the rate of progression towards insulin deficiency.
Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is known by its unofficial name, type 1.5 diabetes. The body’s own immune system attacks and kills the beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. However, the process of destroying all beta cells takes longer in people with LADA than it does in people with type 1 diabetes.
As you lose the ability to make insulin, your body is unable to control your blood sugar levels. You may not need treatment for many months or years after diagnosis like those with type 1 diabetes.
LADA usually begins after you turn 30, and doctors sometimes misdiagnose it as type 2 diabetes.
In fact, up to 15% of people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes actually have LADA. Being misdiagnosed puts people at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and other long-term complications.
Furthermore, if the person does not know they have autoimmune diabetes, they will not be screened for other autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid or celiac disease, which are more common in people with LADA than those with type 2 diabetes.
LADA symptoms are similar to those of type 1 or 2 diabetes. Usually if you don’t get better within a few months of taking oral diabetes medications, your doctor might suspect LADA.
LADA is diagnosed with a blood test. Because LADA is an autoimmune disease, individuals with LADA usually test positive for at least one islet autoantibody (a protein produced by the immune system). Tests can be performed on your blood to check for autoantibodies to GAD, IA-2/ICA512, insulin, and ZnT8. These tests vary in cost depending on your insurance coverage.
As soon as oral treatments, exercise, and diet plans fail to control your blood sugar, speak with your healthcare provider about insulin therapy.
Sources: DiaTribe and EnM (Endocrinology and Metabolism)